Bump, the little French thumb of electric charging in the heart of cities

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Installing electric charging stations in the city for professionals and individuals, thus reducing the CO2 rate, these are the goals of French Bump. Meeting with its two founders, François Oudot and François Paradis.

In France, one third of CO2 emissions are linked to the transport sector, half of which can only be attributed to cars. These include taxis, VTCs and other delivery services. For some, the solution is to go electric. This is also the radical decision chosen by Uber, the VTC service that anticipates zero diesel in 2024 and 50% of its fleet in electric. But opting for the latter means you have to recharge, a challenge when you’re a pro and one that implies the network is great.

At the end of March 2022, Avere listed around 57,732 public charging points, i.e. 22,870 stations for just over 790,000 electrified vehicles (electric + rechargeable hybrids). In terms of location, 70% of these terminals are installed on the road (30%) and in car parks (40%).

Car parks, especially underground, are precisely the playground of Bump, a French company created in April 2021 by François Oudot (ex-Sigfox) and François Paradis (ex-Vinci Energies). The objective is to support professionals in clean mobility by installing a fast charging network in the heart of cities, where land is a rare commodity. However, the young company also installs surface hubs, for example for the urban logistics company Star Service, whose fleet consists of 250 electric vehicles and CNG.

Bump isn't just about underground charging stations, he's also interested in roads.  © Bump

Bump isn’t just about underground charging stations, he’s also interested in roads. © Bump

After an initial fundraising of 2 million euros, Bump opens its first hub (10 charging points) in Paris, in the 5th arrondissement. This one will be quickly followed by another five, still in the French capital (13th, 20th, 11th, 15th and 17th arrondissements). The company already registers up to 3,000 recharges/month in its terminals accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Bump refill for professionals

Companies like Zity (Renault car-sharing service) and Top Chrono (express delivery service) did not hesitate to sign up with Bump, seduced by the ready-to-use Charge On Demand solution. This not only authorizes access to fast charging stations – privatized and bookable from 9 pm to 6 am – but also to benefit from a hub installation directly on the professional customer’s website, with billing per kWh consumed. To Quentin Dampierre, Deputy General Manager of Top Chrono, “Charge On Demand integrates onsite charging and roaming charging into one partnership […] This removes the main obstacle to electricity, charging.”.

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Building on this success, Bump intends to connect other urban centers. Thus, Lyon (3rd arrondissement) is the second agglomeration to benefit from a hub consisting of eight taxi charging points, VTC and car-sharing services. Within three months, two more hubs (150 kW) will be installed at the Part Dieu station. Of course, other big cities (Bordeaux, Marseille…) will follow during the year 2022, according to the supplier.

What individual ? Bump wanted the transition to a carbon-free city to also address individuals. So, some hubs are also open to them. Small particularity that is important, especially with professionals, a marking on the floor indicates the places reserved for professionals and those reserved for individuals.

© Erick Fontaine – Digital

© Erick Fontaine – Digital

It should be noted that Bump has developed a free mobile application (iOS, Android) that geolocates ALL public terminals with the number and type of points offered, whether they are busy or deactivated, without forgetting the rate applied. It is possible to pay your charge independently of the terminal through the application, as long as you have entered your bank details. Bump specifies that no commission is noticed beyond that. Finally, it is possible to have a pass card for payment.

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François Paradis, one of the co-founders (right), accompanied by François Oudot, president and co-founder of Bump.  © Bump

François Paradis, one of the co-founders (right), accompanied by François Oudot, president and co-founder of Bump. © Bump

Les Numériques: How did the idea for Bump come about?

François Oudot Bump was designed with a desire to act and implement solutions to reduce carbon emissions after the birth of my first child. With my partner François Paradis, a former employee of Vinci, we decided to create Bump with the mission of reducing emissions from the mobility of professionals. Bump was launched by first responding to the Renault Zity recharging issues, relayed by Otoqi.

How many charging stations and/or charging points does your company have? What powers are offered?

François Oudot Today, Bump has installed and maintains more than 100 terminals across France, and more than 200 terminals are being installed. We offer terminals from 22 kWh to 150 kWh depending on the customer’s need.

Over the course of a day, how many cars do they carry on average? What is the cost of a filling?

François Oudot Over the course of a day, we average more than 130 recharges. The cost depends on the contract signed with the customer, but can fluctuate around 40 cents per kWh consumed.

© Bump

Why open charging hubs for professionals only?

François Oudot It is with the ambition of greening the mobility of professionals, which is often overlooked, that we aim to generate real change. In fact, mobility is the source of 30% of emissions in France, half of which come from professionals. Our willingness to address this very specific subject, even though our centers are open to individuals, is a real bias that we believe in, given the exponential growth in demand in the sector. Professional mobility involves many challenges in terms of maintaining performance, an irreproachable availability service and adapted on a case-by-case basis. Thus, only an actor committed to solving this specific problem on a day-to-day basis can succeed in the challenge. [Bump a décidé d’ouvrir ses hubs de recharge aux particuliers, voir plus haut, NDLR].

What are the goals? Who are the main competitors?

François Oudot Our main objectives are based on the expansion of Bump throughout France with the recent opening of our first hub in Lyon and soon in other major French cities. We also want to establish a relationship of trust with each of our partners to jointly develop their long-term transition to electricity.

Who are Bump’s shareholders?

François Oudot Bump’s shareholder pool is made up, first and foremost, of Firalp, one of Enedis’ largest service providers and current partner in the installation of Bump terminals – the latter can intervene in less than 3 hours. Otoqi, the Zity vehicle carrier, is Bump’s second-largest shareholder. Fundraising is ongoing with Finergreen.

How do you see the French electric vehicle market?

François Oudot It’s full of opportunities. We are happy to see a real change that is currently taking place with government decisions, of course, but more because of the willingness of mobility agents and landowners to participate in the environmental struggle and the development of electric mobility.

The energy company Shell was the first to install charging stations in the city, intended exclusively for professionals.  © Shell

The energy company Shell was the first to install charging stations in the city, intended exclusively for professionals. © Shell

We must give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Bump is not the first to enter the professional charging station niche. Before it (May 2021), Shell opened a hub of eight charging stations, whose power ranges from 22 to 50 kW. Located in the Lobau underground car park, under the Paris City Hall, this station is exclusively for VTCs, taxis and car fleets.

As the saying goes, “better a lot than a little”. Today, the problem of the electrified vehicle is no longer a question of autonomy, but of electric charging infrastructure, without forgetting a reactive after-sales service. By positioning itself in the professional market, Bump is contributing its stone to the building to help these “forgotten” people to dive into electromobility, knowing that they will be the first “victims” of the ZFEs (implemented low emission zones). places throughout France). In addition to privileged access, Bump guarantees the reliability of its charging stations, namely thanks to an after-sales service capable of working in less than 3 hours. Since these terminals are the full responsibility of Bump. In short, time is money.

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